The cinema and the public: a critical analysis of the origin, constitution, and control of the British Film Institute (1934)

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" useful buffer " to absorb attacks, and invite one or two educationalists who are interested in these matters and who do not mind being used as a buffer — even if they might object to being thus explicitly described — to advise them regarding it. But such a department of the trade, useful as it might be to the trade, would clearly have no claim on the Cinematograph or any other public Fund for its expenditure. That the trade itself is beginning to realise that the " British Film Institute " amounts to little more than this is shown by several recent statements made by both of its daily papers : " As to the British Film Institute, we don't really think it will interfere very much with anything at all."* " So long as the Institute is able to disentangle itself from the suspicion of uplift, it has a chance to make headway and will muster support in the trade and out. But, until it removes the stigma of wanting to attach any of the Sunday Opening charity money, it will have serious critics in the Street. They are hard at it now, on the other hand, to grab their share from the Privy Council ; but, frankly, / canH see them getting it""f " What they " (the officials of the Institute) " are doing seems to me conceived on the most amateurish lines, and, frankly, reminds me very much of a group of small boys setting out to amuse + + themselves." While even the Secretary of the Institute, Mr. R. V. Crow, himself a member of the trade, has his doubts : * To-day's Cinema, November 24th, 1933. f To-day's Cinema, January 3rd, 1934. X The Daily Film Renter, January 12th, 1934. Page 36